DeAnn Alcantara-Thompson joined the NW Network in 2007 coming from working at the New Beginnings Domestic Violence Shelter Program, the eldest program of its kind in the region. She directs the Queer Parent Networking Dinners and the Relationship Skills Classes, cornerstones of NW acclaimed community engagement activities. She coordinated the development of the Relationship Skills Class Curriculum and People of Color edition of the Relationship Skills Class. DeAnn started her career in the movement in 2001 as a volunteer at a Women’s shelter while in college and worked at the University of Washington Women’s Center. She has traveled around the globe engaging with different communities about LGBTQ Domestic Violence & Community Engagement, and she loves talking with people about anti-violence work, love and community within in local contexts!
Etiony Aldarondo, Ph.D.
Dr. Etiony Aldarondo is Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Dunspaugh-Dalton Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami. The recipient of various recognitions for educational excellence and community involvement, including the 2011 Social Justice Award from the American Psychological Association and the 2011 Elizabeth Beckman Award, his scholarship focuses on positive development of ethnic minority and immigrant youth, domestic violence, and social justice-oriented clinical practices. His publications include the books Advancing Social Justice through Clinical Practice (Routledge), Programs for men who batter: Intervention and prevention strategies in a diverse society (Civic Research Institute with Fernando Mederos, Ed.D.), and Neurosciences, Health and Community Well-Being (San Luís, Nueva Editorial Universitaria with Dr. Enrique Saforcada and Mauro Muñoz). Dr. Aldarondo has a long history of involvement with grass root advocacy organizations and federal government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institute of Justice. He is executive director of The Council on Contemporary Families and serves on the scientific advisory boards for Casa de Esperanza, The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment, The Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection & Child Custody at the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health.
Hon. Steven D. Aycock (Ret.)
Steve Aycock is the judge-in-residence of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Until 2008 he was with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation where he had been the chief judge at the Colville Tribal Court for nine years. Previously, Judge Aycock worked for twelve years as the director of the Colville Tribal Legal Office where he represented individual members of the Tribes in civil matters. The office specialized in children and elders advocacy. He has also worked for Evergreen Legal Services in the Pasco, Washington office and as a public defender in Franklin County District and Superior Courts. From 1984-1986 he was a clinical instructor and in 2008 he taught Federal Indian Law at the University of Idaho, College of Law. Judge Aycock made presentations at the University of Washington, University of Kansas and Michigan State University law schools on issues related to Tribal Courts. He is currently a board member for the Committee to Aid Abused Women in Reno, Nevada. He served as a faculty member of the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. Since coming to the National Council, he has presented at national conferences and state and tribal judicial conferences on various domestic violence issues. Judge Aycock received his Bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University in 1977. He graduated from the University of Idaho, College of Law in 1980.
Anneliese Brown joined Vera in May 2010 as a program associate with the Supervised Visitation Initiative, and recently began working with the Accessing Safety Initiative. In this role, she provides training and technical assistance to communities receiving funding through OVW’s Supervised Visitation Program and Disability Program, including coordinating the webinar series offered through both grant programs. Anneliese has been working to address domestic and sexual violence and stalking for over 10 years. Prior to joining Vera, she spent two years as the legal projects coordinator with the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, where she coordinated statewide efforts to improve the response of the criminal justice and civil legal systems to victims of domestic and sexual violence, and provided technical assistance and training to advocates. From 2004 to 2006, Anneliese worked with the Family Violence Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), first as an information specialist and then as a project coordinator, overseeing NCJFCJ’s technical assistance on OVW’s Supervised Visitation Program. Anneliese has also served as the children’s program coordinator at a domestic and sexual violence agency in California and has advocated for victims of domestic and sexual violence in Alaska, Maine, and Vermont. Anneliese received her BA in women’s studies and psychology from Bates College.
Laura Connelly is the director of programming at Advocates for Family Peace (AFFP). As the director of programming she provides leadership on all programming of the agency. She also provides individual, criminal, systemic advocacy to victims of domestic violence, coordinates all volunteerism of the agency, co-facilitates a group for men who batter and for women who use violence, and coordinates all public awareness efforts of the agency. She has provided consultation on domestic violence programming for the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Program, Supervised Visitation Network, Praxis International and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She has contributed to numerous publications related to supervised visitation and domestic violence. She is the co-author of a curriculum and DVD for working with men who batter as fathers entitled, "Addressing Fatherhood with Men Who Batter". She also co-authored a curriculum and DVD for working with women who have used violence in intimate relationships entitled, "Turning Points: An Educational Curriculum for Women Who Use Violence in Intimate Relationships."
Ona Foster, LMSW
Ona Foster has been working to address issues around domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child abuse for over 15 years. She currently directs the Supervised Visitation Initiative for the Vera Institute of Justice, which provides training and technical assistance for the national Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program. Prior to joining Vera she spent seven years implementing and directing Faith and Liberty’s Place Supervised Visitation Center in Dallas, Texas. Previously she spent four years working in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office in the Family Violence Unit, first as a legal advocate in the criminal misdemeanor family violence courts and then as a supervisor in the Protective Order Division. Prior to working at the DA’s Office, she facilitated BIP (Battering Intervention and Prevention) groups and worked in a women’s shelter. She publicly speaks on the issue of domestic violence nationally and locally, and has trained law enforcement and community groups across the state of Texas for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Ona serves as co-chair on two committees for the Supervised Visitation Network and is a member of the board. She also serves in a consultant capacity for Futures Without Violence (formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund), Praxis International, The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the Office on Violence Against Women. Ona is a licensed social worker who holds a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Colorado State University.
Lisa Ferentz, MSW, LCSW-C, DAPA
Lisa has a B.A. in Theatre, is an LCSW-C and is a Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association. She has been in private practice for 30 years, specializing in adolescent and adult survivors of trauma, abuse and neglect. She uses many creative modalities in her work to address issues of affect regulation, co-dependency, addictions, eating disorders and self-destructive behaviors, depression, anxiety, professional burn-out and self-care. Lisa presents workshops, lectures and keynote addresses nationally and internationally. She is a clinical consultant to private practitioners, domestic violence programs, and mental health agencies. She has been an Adjunct Faculty member at several Universities, and is the Founder and President of "The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education," an organization that has provided continuing education classes and Certificates in Advanced Trauma Treatment to mental health professionals for the past 7 years. In 2009 she was voted the "Social Worker of Year" by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work. Lisa has written several articles on self-destructive behaviors and a book entitled, "Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Traumatized Clients: A Clinician’s Guide." Her second book, "Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing" is in press. Lisa was also the host of a weekly, live, National Internet-based radio talk show called "Inspired Journeys: Overcoming Adversity and Thriving." In her spare time, she acts, directs and choreographs for community theatre productions.
Ms. Hankins is the Co-Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community at the University of Minnesota. In this capacity she provides leadership in working with national and local projects dedicated to ending domestic violence among African Americans. Specifically her work includes research, policy, community education and awareness, community organizing and developing, and the provision of technical assistance to federally funded and other non-profit organizations. She has 30 years of leadership experience and is recognized nationally for her work in the domestic violence field. Additionally, Ms. Hankins provides training, meeting facilitation and consulting services nationally.
Before assuming her current position, Ms. Hankins held the following leadership positions: Project Director of the Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, Vice President of Programs for HAVEN in Oakland County, Michigan; Project Director for Laurel Consulting Group in Laurel, Maryland; and Administrator of the STOP Violence Against Women Grant for the State of Florida's Governor's Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence in Tallahassee, Florida. Additionally, Ms. Hankins has held the position of Executive Director of Detroit Women's Justice Center, and of the Downtown and Northwest Branches of the YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit.
Sandra joined Vera's Accessing Safety Initiative in November 2006. Prior to joining Vera, Sandra worked on the training and technical assistance team for Project Access of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She has been working in the area of ending violence against women for 15 years. Originally from Louisiana, Sandra began working at her local crisis line and volunteering at her local shelter while still in high school. Upon earning her undergraduate degree, Sandra worked for Turning Point Battered Women’s Shelter. After receiving her master’s degree from Goddard College where she focused on radical feminist analyses of sexual and domestic violence, Sandra became project director for Vanderbilt University’s Grant to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campuses. She worked for nearly five years to establish a comprehensive program to both respond to violent crimes against women and to prevent them from happening. The program—Project Safe—was institutionalized at Vanderbilt in 2004.
Veronica Linder is currently a software trainer at a major healthcare organization in Atlanta Georgia. In that role she trains new and returning employees on the organization's software use while ensuring that upon completion of their training, the participants also understand the company's mission and culture. Veronica is on the board of directors at DeKalb PATH Academy charter school in Atlanta where she serves as secretary. She is also on the board of directors at Community Christian Ministries, where she serves as Director of the Women's Ministry. Veronica is the mother of three children, Andrew, Christopher and Lauren. In her spare time she enjoys Zumba, swimming and meditation.
Tiffany Martinez is a licensed clinical social worker. Since that time, Ms. Martinez has dedicated her career to working with those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. She has served in many capacities; functioning within the child welfare system as a foster care worker, providing family, individual, and group therapy to victims of violence, and most recently acting as director of a supervised visitation and exchange program. Currently, Ms. Martinez acts as an independent consultant providing training and technical assistance both locally and nationally on issues relating to family violence and supervised visitation and exchange. She obtained her master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan in 1996.
Beth is a social worker who received her degree from the University of Wisconsin. Hailing from a small town in the Midwest, Ms. McNamara currently resides in the State of Montana. She has been an advocate to end violence against women since 1987. Her experience has covered the span of both sexual assault and domestic violence prevention work. Beth is the co-founder and co-executive director of Inspire Action for Social Change, a non-profit organization working to create social change and end violence against women and children. Since 2005 Beth has been working with Praxis International and also provides training and technical assistance as a consultant for the Family Violence Department for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges as well as for Futures Without Violence. Beth was the director of the Family Service Agency, Family Visitation Center in the Bay Area of California for thirteen years. Over the course of her career in supervised visitation she planned, designed and operated five different supervised visitation centers. She was responsible for program operations, development, sustainability, training, direct service, advocacy, and the supervision and mentoring of staff and volunteers. Beth has also worked in the mental health and chemical dependency fields for several years in the early stages of her professional life.
Scott Miller has worked for the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project since 2000. Scott coordinates Duluth’s Coordinated Community Response to domestic violence under a demonstration project funded by OVW called the Blueprint for Safety. Serving as both system advocate and coordinator of the men’s nonviolence program, he is instrumental in the evolving work being done in Duluth. Scott trains nationally and internationally on the components of the Duluth Model of intervention and helps develop new resource materials and curricula for use in communities working to end violence against women. Scott has also co-authored the new DAIP men’s nonviolence curriculum Creating a Process of Change for Men Who Batter.
Scott works independently as an expert witness in criminal and civil trials to explain how the tactics of abusers and the associated risks generated by battering are linked to the counterintuitive behaviors of victims.
Scott is a contract trainer and forensic interviewer for First Witness Child Abuse Resource Center in Duluth. Scott is responsible for conducting forensically sound interviews of children suspected of being physically or sexually abused as part of a criminal investigation. Scott also conducts trainings nationally on how to conduct interviews with children and work from a multidisciplinary team approach in the investigation of child abuse.
Scott Miller has been working in the women’s movement since 1985.
Lumarie Orozco, MA
Lumarie Orozco, MA: Lumarie is a community psychologist, youth practitioner and trainer. Until recently, Lumarie managed Casa de Esperanza’s community engagement initiatives including Fuerza Unida (community engagement, leadership development) and Youth Initiatives (leadership, peer education and advocacy). Her work includes leadership training and curriculum development, psycho-educational support group facilitation and program development and implementation. Lumarie is a trainer for the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, a project of Casa de Esperanza with areas of expertise in leadership development, community engagement, youth development, program development and implementation, and youth advocacy. Lumarie is a 2011 Practitioner Fellow with the National Institute on Out of School Time, and a 2012 Practitioner Fellow with the Robert Bowne Foundation National Writing Project.
Tiffiny Ratcliff has been a nurse for thirteen years. Due to a near fatal accident suffered by her and her family, her life took a drastic turn. Tiffiny was ejected from the vehicle at six-months pregnant and had to learn to walk and talk again.
She now attends the University of Phoenix where she is pursuing a degree in psychology. Tiffiny is married and is mother to three beautiful boys. In her leisure time, she volunteers at her son’s elementary school, she is part of a ministry at her church, called, "Starting Over". The ministry does outreach to various domestic violence shelters and offers assistance to women and children. Tiffiny is a mentor to young women through a non-profit organization called, "Essex Girls". She enjoys reading, walking, listening to music, and spending time with her family.
Arlene was born and raised in Chicago IL in a single parent home. She has three brothers and no sisters. Arlene was the first one on her mother’s side of the family to graduate from High School. Arlene is the single mother of an intelligent, funny, and caring 11 year old boy named Nasean who is her world. Arlene met Nasean's father when she was 16 years old. They had a relationship for 7 years and lived together for the last 4 years of the relationship. She left the relationship when Nasean was only 1 ½ years old because of domestic violence.
After living with her mom for a few months Arlene moved out on her own with Nasean. She worked in the collections field for a few years until she was laid off of work. At that time Arlene decided to go back to school. She attended Wilbur Wright College in Chicago and obtained her associated degree in liberal arts.
In 2011 Arlene moved to Winter Haven FL where she now resides with her son. Arlene currently holds a Human Resource Specialist position at Winter Haven Hospital and is also pursuing her bachelor’s degree in supervision and management with a concentration in public administration from Polk State College. She anticipates graduating in December 2014. Arlene plans to further her education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Organization with a certification in Human Resource Management along with pursuing SPHR certification.
In her spare time Arlene enjoys hanging out with her son and traveling. She enjoys going to theme parks, festivals, and historical sights. Arlene’s dream is to open a center for single mom’s one day and to be a voice for single mom’s struggling trying to make a difference in their children’s life.
Brenda Rivera is the Managing Attorney for Dade Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence Division. Over 17 years ago, Ms. Rivera joined Dade Legal Aid to establish a satellite office dedicated to assisting battered immigrant and farmworker victims. Ms. Rivera’s work over the past 17 years has led to the creation of three additional satellite offices dedicated to serving victims of intimate partner violence. Each year more than 900 victims are provided legal assistance. For the past 13 years, Ms. Rivera has also directed the Domestic Violence and Family Law Clinic at St. Thomas University School of law where her students provide legal representation to victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. She has served on various boards, committees and networks addressing domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
Jennifer Rose has been working as an advocate & activist to end violence against women and children for the past 20 years. Jennifer is the co-founder of Inspire Action for Social Change and is currently working as a consultant, locally and nationally, to provide training and technical assistance on the issues of violence against women and girls, supervised visitation and safe exchange, engaging men who batter, oppression, community organizing, and LGBTQ issues. Jennifer has recently returned to the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center as the Co-Executive Director. During her first tenure at WAWC she worked to build a program that provided both crisis intervention and long-term advocacy and support for women and their families. In this role she also opened a supervised visitation center that was part of a national demonstration initiative funded through the Office of Violence Against Women. Jennifer works as a consultant to Futures without Violence, The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, and The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Jennifer received her BA in Anthropology and Women’s Studies from Fort Lewis College and her MSW from San Jose State University.